From the Author

Monday, May 30, 2016

Veterans and Families

I have never been a veteran.  I have no idea what a veteran and his or her family have to cope with on a daily basis.  I do know that I appreciate everything they do to keep us safe and able to go on with our daily lives.  I also thank veteran's family members who have to deal with moving constantly, worry about the health and safety of the veteran family member or members.

I was talking to the wife of a veteran.  She has a business working out of her home because it was a portable job that she could do wherever her husband was stationed.  She made the best of her situation because it was difficult to find a job whenever the family was reassigned to a different part of the country or out of the country.  She was almost apologizing because she didn't have a more established profession.  I could only applaud her ingenuity as she coped with the many moves her family had endured to remain with her husband.

Another veteran talked about missing his older child when his ex-wife went to court while he was out of the country to change custody.  He was forced to pay child support but could not see his son because she told the judge this veteran had post-traumatic stress disorder and she was afraid of his inability to parent his son.  He did not have that diagnosis.  Regardless, he lost all rights to see his son while he was defending his country.

I have met veterans who have the burden of post-traumatic stress disorder and have many years of treatment to try to cope with the horrors of war. The family members also have to cope with the effects of this mind altering trauma. Other veterans are in therapy for physical injury, loss of limbs or vision, loss of coordination or brain trauma.

Veterans are survivors.  Their family members are survivors.  They are all heroes. Thank you for everything you have done for us! You are loved!

Friday, May 20, 2016

Team effort

I became aware of a church member who had broken teeth from a recent fall.  She is in her 70's and was unable to to eat or chew properly.  When we checked about getting help for her dental work, we discovered that she was living in an unsafe, unsanitary environment with few furnishings, no curtains and no one to help her.  She was living in an apartment with 20 steep stairs to the apartment and 40 steep stairs to the shared basement with the washer and dryer.

Church members assisted in setting up appointments with low income dental care and paid for the repairs.  Church members found her a low income senior facility with a an apartment on one floor with a large kitchen, walk-in shower, and other seniors to visit with.

Several things happened to make it possible for this person to move ASAP to this beautiful facility.

Individuals helped to organize paperwork, assisted her to visit her doctor to get a prescription stating she needed to find a home without steps for safety, contact the facility, arrange for all necessary paperwork to be given to the facility.  The facility gave her a tour, placed her on a list for emergency housing, and church members were notified of the need for additional furnishings so that she could eventually move in.

A resident at the facility moved to an assisted living and her family decided to leave a bed and bedding, table and chairs, all kitchen utensils, microwave, towels, phones, book cases, curtains, etc. for the new resident.  The church members donated other furnishings, helped to pick up donations, take them to the apartment and set everything up for her.  Some money was donated to help with initial expenses.

I can tell you, I have never seen anyone so excited about her new home and her new life!  She kept saying, "It feels like Christmas!"  She has become a new person with a new lease on life.  She has found old and new friends and feels that God wanted her to be in this safe and comforting home.

We can't help everyone but we can help the ones we know about!  One person can't achieve much but a team of people with God's help can accomplish miracles.  Look for miracles you can perform! We all have special gifts to share to make a difference in someone's life!

Friday, May 6, 2016

The Bible

There was a recent controversy about whether to include a bible with an exhibit representing American soldiers.  I was never a soldier but I can imagine that many soldiers carried bibles or books of their own faith.  I can't imagine a soldier who wouldn't be anxious or worried about losing his or her life, limbs or acquiring permanent injuries in the course of a war.  Faith is a wonderful comfort in any stressful situation.  I think it would be appropriate to include many books of faith in the exhibit as there are soldiers of many faiths.  I would rather see inclusion of these faith books, rather than to take away the bible and leave no reference to God.  God is worshiped all over the world and prayers are universal, especially for anyone in a dangerous and unpredictable environment. I'm sure that God heard many prayers from our soldiers!

Happy Mother's Day!

I salute all mothers who have given the world a child, whether the child is biological, adopted, assimilated into a family, someone "adopted" through love, someone who has been an unheralded support system or someone who is just special to a child. True mothers are individuals who exhibit unconditional love, who exemplify how to live with morals, empathy, compassion, and unselfishness. There are many mothers who are unrecognized, unheralded, quiet, behind the scenes champions of their children each and every day no matter how young or old their children are.  They place the needs of the child first even though it may involve tough parenting decisions.  Sometimes they hurt more than the child when discipline is involved. Mothers do what they think is best out of love and respect for the child. They want their child to know they are loved while the child is expected to be responsible, caring, respectful and obedient.  It is a difficult and thankless job, at times. to be a mother. At the same time, it is one of the most fulfilling jobs in the world, because mothers help to nurture the most wonderful human beings who may grow up to be fantastic mothers, fathers or adults.  Mothers are everyday heroes.  I am reminded of Mary, the mother of Jesus, who gives us the example of unconditional love. Being a mother is a very special responsibility that will impact a child for the rest of his or her life!  Mothers make a difference!  I am so proud of all of you who make the world a secure and happy place for a child even under very difficult circumstances.  Life is not easy but a mother makes an easy life!  Have a wonderful mother's day!